5 Scary Trends that Shipwreck the Church

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by gb93433, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. gb93433

    gb93433
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    I am excited about the future of the church. Every week I meet sharp young leaders who are passionately pouring themselves into seeing the Kingdom on earth expressed through the local church. At the same time when I read articles about the fastest growing segment of society being those who don't give God or church a second thought I realize that we have to sharpen our game considerably if we want to see the local church prevail in America. To paraphrase Paul we need to discipline ourselves mercilessly lest after having preached to record crowds on Christmas Eve we lose our communities to apathy.

    To start the conversation I have identified five trends that I see in the American church that, if unchecked, will shipwreck us. These trends are not pointed at any particular church; these are simply my observations and opinions based on 30 years in the trenches. I am feeling a little Old Testament minor prophetish, so I apologize in advance if there is a negative tone, my only goal is the expansion of the Kingdom and to see the church prevail.

    Let’s get started with one near and dear to my heart:

    Multisite Mania
    Since co-authoring The Multisite Church Revolution in 2006 I have seen multisite go from an obscure mega-church phenomenon to the hottest growth strategy in the country. It seems like everyone is “one church in many locations”. Pastors are almost apologetic when they admit they are a mono-site church. "We're adding a new location as soon as we break the 50 barrier, I promise."

    The rest of the 5 page story begins at http://www.churchleaders.com/pastor...er&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daily-Update
     
  2. jonathan.borland

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    Funny that the multichurch guru should say it could shipwreck the church. BTW, I generally agree with his 5 cautions.
     
  3. annsni

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    Thanks for that. It's really very true, unfortunately. I've seen it firsthand. :(
     
  4. jonathan.borland

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    The others are:
    2. Cocky reformed attitude
    3. Worshiping worship
    4. Planting irrelevant churches with recycled membership from other churches
    5. Puffing up the pastor
     
  5. gb93433

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    I have never been in a church that does that so I am wondering how or why that is done.
     
  6. jonathan.borland

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    It's the rock star pastor thing, like the blog said. However it happens, the larger a church grows, the less approachable/touchable the pastor becomes, especially for those who never knew him before his rock star status.
     
  7. gb93433

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    Do you think it has anything to do with how transparent the pastor is or is not? In the past it has bothered me a lot when people seem to treat me like I walk on water. Just ask my wife she will tell you who I really am, where I came from, and whom God has changed me to be. I like what a large church pastor said to me one time, "The older I get the more I am amazed God uses me."
     
    #7 gb93433, Feb 21, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 21, 2012
  8. Amy.G

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    I have. In fact that's the way it is in the church I left last year. And that church is small, having a membership of about 250. The pastor is put on a pedestal and whatever he says is gospel, no matter how wrong it may be. I got sucked into that mindset myself, to my shame. :(

    If he can't preach, due to sickness or whatever, I have seen people actually leave the building and go home because someone else was preaching in his place.
     
  9. gb93433

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    How did that happen to you?
     
  10. Amy.G

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    He is a very good preacher and preaches with authority. He has a big personality and people are attracted to his teaching and preaching. I had come from a church where I wasn't getting fed (I thought) and he seemed to fill the need.

    I have matured since then and learned that the bible is my authority and not a preacher. I'm not proud of it.
     
  11. annsni

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    It CAN shipwreck the church. It's not that each of these WILL shipwreck but CAN.
     
  12. thegospelgeek

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    I posted the Worshipping Worship thingy on my Blog. (Gave credit where credit is due). Good stuff
     
  13. Winman

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    Are you telling us you cannot walk on water? I'm shocked! :eek:
     
  14. jonathan.borland

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    Absolutely. I don't think the pastor needs to be quite as "all things" as Perry Noble appears to be, but yes, he needs to make his fellow brothers and sisters know that he is one with just as many "like passions" as they, just to begin with.
     
  15. drfuss

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    This thread reminded me of my first Pastor after I accepted Christ.

    We had a church of about 200 and had a testimony service on both of our evening services. Occasionally someone would get up and say how wonderful the Pastor was. Before their second sentence, the Pastor woud jump up and say we will have no more of that. His reasoning was that if people praised him, God would cause him to fall; so they would get their eyes off of him and back to worshipping God. I really respected him for that.

    BTW, that Pastor retired from that church after pastoring there for 35 years with no major problems in the church.
     
  16. Salty

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    Then we know why they really came....:tear:

    Many years ago, I visited First Bap, Dallas one Sunday night - Dr. Criswell was not there that night (unbeknown to me), but I did stay to worship the LORD!. :praying: :jesus:
     
  17. gb93433

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    It might be better said that they treated me as though I had some kind of access to God that they did not.

    On a lighter note I saw something on TV where a young man was teaching people to run on water. He was quite good but they were not.
     
  18. Tom Butler

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    Quite a thought-provoking article. Thanks for making me think. Ooooh, my head!

    I was interested in how you would treat the Reformed folks. I can remember when I discovered Calvinism. I thought it was wonderful. So wonderful that I wanted to talk about it to anybody who would listen. I'm sure many of my friends hated to see me coming.

    Even my pastor got the "deer in the headlights" look when I would head in his direction.

    I suspect that this is the case for the (as somebody called them) "young, restless and Reformed." Then can easily obsess on it. Newly Reformed folks can be a pain in the neck. But they do eventually grow up.

    And young Calvinists have to be careful about arrogance. The old "I've found the truth and you can't see it" syndrome. The problem is that none of us who believes in a Sovereign God, (Calvinist or not) has any room for arrogance. Calvinists should be exhibit #1 for humility.

    Good stuff, gb, I appreciated the article.
     
    #18 Tom Butler, Feb 21, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 21, 2012
  19. DaChaser1

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    interesting to me is that the fastest growing churches in America were the Mormons and RCC, and in the World pentacostal/charasmatic churches, so guess 'sound doctrine" not a requirement!
     
  20. gb93433

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    Jesus said that they will know we are Christian by our __________. Last I heard the Mormons had declined. In the late 1800s Mormonism was named as the Islam of America.


    James said to be doers of the Word and not hearers only who delude themselves. So if one has correct intellectual doctrine but not the practice then he is deluded. So we need to ask, "What is correct doctrine? I would contend that correct doctrine includes both the written and lived. One cannot be separated from the other. A false teacher may teach correct intellectual doctrine and by a hypocrite by the way he lives.

    Can I have correct doctrine and live it out, and attend a church I do not agree with in their doctrinal statement but agree with how they live? I think so.
     

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